tv Charlie Rose WHUT January 4, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EST
i had to see him to -- not quite the grave but the terminal hospital bed to makea saga of a man's life. this is a man's life. a life ends. rabbit's life had to end and i wanted to be there as a writer. >> charlie: was it sad for you when you wrote that? >> kind of a relief actually. i had been having heart pangs, and when i gave him the heart ailments they lifted off of me -- he carried them away for me. and toward the end there when he goes down to florida kind of half wanting to die, i felt, oddly, free. i felt myself getting lighter and lighter so it wasn't as sad for me as perhaps for my readers, or some of my readers. writers are cruel. authors are cruel. we make and we destroy like kali, the hindu god. >> charlie: you could do it. >> i hated to do it. no. i loved him. he was good to me. >> charlie: but you --
>> he gave me my prizes. >> there was never any intent to fulfill the dream. you must recall as you think about dr. king on this day that he was assassinated, murdered, shot down like a dog, and the dream didn't fail then. it didn't fail yesterday. and it will not fail tomorrow for as long as there is one black child who understands and is taught about the life of king, we will make america right in spite of itself. >> i have a theory that what we write about chooses you more than you choose him -- just like -- i feel that it's choseen. his locale. his people. it's in his blood. >> charlie: it's in my blood too. that's exactly where i'm from. i know the character. >> i'm sure you do. i'sure you do. >> charlie: the drunks and the
sober ones both. >> that's right. >> charlie: lauren county. >> and i have never had any choice about it. i just -- instinctively, this is what my imagination goes towards. for good or bad, that's where i am. >> charlie: is being a writer the same thing? it chooses you? >> in my case, it certainly is. it certainly -- i was chosen, in a way, yeah. i didn't have any conscious -- i wanted to be an actor so bad, i can't tell you, and then one day, it just -- the gears began to shift. >> charlie: and you wanted to be a playwright? >> i wanted to be a playwright in the worst kind of way. i had no training. i hadn't even gone to college. i really had to learn on the job, so to speak. >> that's primarily where you come from as an actor or an actress is using your own life experience to perhaps be able to
shed light on other characters. you also use your imagination as well. i definitely feel and practice just, you know that old saying, "practice, practice, practice," so i do feel i'm getting better and i think the other thing i feel as i get older, which is not so much to do with work, is that sense of when you have had dreams of -- or many ambitions -- not necessarily professional -- of, "oh, i would love to go visit that country," or "i must do that," you think "i must actually do that, stop dreaming about it and actually do it." >> charlie: just dit -- do it nowment don't say tomorrow, don't think that "i'll always have time to do that." >> no. you never know. i have had so many people as i have known this summer who have just died before their time, and it's so precious, you live it every day. >> my earliest remembers of race
date back to about 1921, and two very important incidents in that area. one was that we lived in the village where i was born, renniesville, oklahoma, a small black village -- we had to go to the next town to do our shopping. my mother and my sister and i got on the train, had to flag the train down in this village. it would not stop if you didn't. we flagged it down, jumped on and it was moving by the time we got on and we had to sit down. we sat down in the first seats we could get to, and that was all right except that when the director -- when the conductor came through, he said, "you can't sit here. this is for white people." and my mother said, "well, i
cannot move my children. the train is moving." he said, "i'll stop the train." he stopped the train. instead of permitting us to move to the so-called black coach, he put us off the train in the woods. >> charlie: unbelievable. >> and i did not know what was happening except i began to cry, because i was out there in the woods -- my mother was with me, and my sister, we had to trudge our way back -- we were still closer to renniesville than that kota, the town we were going, so we were trudging our way back to renniesville and i was crying and my mother said "what are you crying for?" i said "the man put us off the train." i was six years old. she said, "oh, that?" she said, "he put us off the train because he didn't regard us as being good enough to sit where we were, since that was for white people," andhe said,
"but you mustn't cry about that. she said, "if you have any energy, i want you to use it proving to yourself, and to everyone else, that you are as good as any of those people on that train regardless of their color." she said, "you dry those tears and i don't want you crying about that anymore," and i have not cried about that anymore. >> i don't think being the party in power necessarily means you're the party of government solutions to all the problems. if you're in power, and you use that power and authority and responsibility to empower localities and states and people and families with ownership and entrepreneurship and opportunity and educational choice and more jobs, i think people would see government as a useful tool to reaching that goal. i don't think the question is
government or no government. we're not lezay faire 18th-century capitalists -- we're not lessaiz faire 18th century capitalists. i think that's the proper use of the government -- to create a safety net under which people are not allowed to fall, but also to create a ladder of opportunity on which people can climb out of poverty, so there, to me, is the balance we owe, if you will, of a democratic society. >> charlie: i know you have traveled around the country campaigning for a lost those republican candidates who had endorsed and --for a on lot of those republican candidates who had endorsed and signed the contract with america made by newt gingrich and other republicans, that government and that mission seemed to be, "we are going to reduce the power of government." yes? we are going to reduce the power of government -- >> over our individual live
in a cold war, which we have lived through for 40 years, or in a hot war as we lived through under world war ii, or, say, world war i, the government has to be a central focus of authority and responsibility in spending, but in peacetime, i think it's important to shift back to normalcy and to shift power back to people, to -- excuse the expression -- empower the individual. expand incentives for work, and savings, and entrepreneurial risk-taking, so i think it is natural that the republican party offering that contract to the american people to provide that type of a shift in authority from the central government back to people would come to power overwhelmingly against what was perceived to be the clinton democratic party, which wanted to nationalize or
iraqatize health care, welfare, e.p.a. and trade and everything else. i could have predicted this -- i didn't, i didn't see it as big as it was but i can now look back and interpret it as a massive shift of power and authority away from the central bureaucracy back to people. >> everywhere i go, i meet women who say it changed my life, and unfortunately, when i finished tsomeone said, "how do you want to be remembered?" i said "the ideal would be one in which i wasn't, in which the women's room" would be absolutely unreadable because you wouldn't know what it was talking about" but unfortunately i meet a great many young women who continue to experience the same thing. >> charlie: what did it say to them? >> i think it validates a number of things about women that had never been validated before in art in the large sense. one is women's work, which has
always been looked at as nonwork and as mindless and as -- i remember reading when i was a young married woman an article on brain-damaged people, and it concluded that brain-damaged women made excellent wives, and that was the approach toward what was required to run a house and raise children. i think it validated women's anger. are not supposed to get angry, we know that, as soon as they get angry they get called all kinds of things that make them nonwomen -- make them some kind of super-human, evil force, and i think it validated their rspective on themselves. for a lot of women. >> if you have done nothing else, if you have been a perfectly horrible man, let us say, and had preserved the union and freed the slaves we would still say this is one of our major american presents, but
when you add to that other things, that he was a brilliant politician, his whole life was a life in politics and he was able to work men and groups that had not got along, who had no experience of getting together into an organized party that backed him and the republicans, of course, for re-election since 1864, first time since andrew jackson anybody had been ejected, his political skill is one thing that must be stressed and add to that maybe two more things. there was a moral dimension to this man. whatever you said aboutabraham lincoln, and there were many, many criticisms of him, nobody ever questioned his honesty, nobody questioned his integrity, nobody ever questioned that he was doing the very best he could and there were principles that he adhered to like the preservation of the union that he would not budge on. "once i put my foot down," he said, "i don't lift it up." >> the night of the start of ""the tonight show,"" the johnny
carson version of ""the tonight show,"" october 1st, 1962, i went up to his offe above 6-b where we taped the show for many years in nbc 30-rock, he and i were going to walk down the first time to be on the set to see the lights, to see where the couch is and the chair and kind of test it out, so we walked down the staircase together the two of us, i went to his office to pick him up, again, lothar, getting him down to the set, as we were walking down, i said, "johnny," i said, "it was after four years together on "who do you trust?" i said, "johnny, how do you see my role tonight?" he said, "ed, i don't know how i see my role. let's go down and entertain the hell out of them." that was the instruction. entertain the hell out of them. and we did it, for 30 years. >> don't always listen to the polls. don't always listen to the
majority of the congress. don't always listen to the majority of the press, the majority of the people through the polls, the majority of the congress, the majority of the press were in support of what was going on in vietnam during much of that period. that doesn't absolve us as leaders of what we did. we were responsible to lead, not follow, and we led wrongly, so that's one lesson. i hope people will understand that. the leaders are responsible to lead not follow. that's the first point. second point, for god's sakes i don't want to people the take the lesson "you shouldn't serve in government, you will get crucified." i said the other night, and the morning -- i said on tv -- and the morning after, my children, all three of them, separately called and they just were almost in tears. they were so pleased. this was the day after the diane
sawyer show when i was almost in tears myself. but what i said on that show was, after seven years of stress and trauma and pain, i believe every one of us, my wife, craig, my son, cathy, my daughter, margie, my daughter, i were better for the seven years of government service, and that's the message i want to leave to the american people. for god's sakes, when your government asks you to serve, serve. it's your obligation. it's your duty. and you will be better for it. that's what i believe. >> john kennedy, in our interview, we finished the interview, he seemed a little miffed and kind of stormed off with a very perfunctory "goodbye," i went out to the truck in front where we had taped this interview and i was satisfied with the looks of it and was about to leave when our producer came out of kennedy's house in georgetown and said, "the senator wants to do it over
again." i said, "we can't do it over again, for heaven sakes," we built it up as an interview that was totally ad libbed, now he knows the questions. that's not fair. we did it with nixon last week who didn't ask to do it over. he said "he insists. that's the only thing we can do is do it over." i asked permission to speak to the senators. i went upstairs, he was lying on the bed in a room that looked like a harvard college dormitory room, pictures of football players, harvard players, i hoped, on the dresser, and i assumed it was john in pickup games kind of thing -- i don't know -- but at any rate, i went in and i pleaded with him to do it over and he said, "no, we're not going to do it over." >> charlie: you pleaded to leave it as it is. >> he insisted "we're going to do it over." >> charlie: his problem is he didn't like the way he was sitting in the chair. >> he said that it was because he was sitting in the chair -- we had him placed in a soft
chair where he was all doubled up and lked bad. you it. he didn't look badly at all. it was the fact that he had muffed this question. and knowing that, i wasn't about to do it over just for cosmetic reasons. anyway, it would still be unfair. i said "we're going to have to label the broadcast. there is going to be a disclaimer there is aing "we did this with nixon with no redo, with you we had to do redo the thing at your request," "i don't care about that, do it," walking out of the room i said "we're going to do it but i want to tell you something. this is the poorest display of sportsmanship i've ever seen in my life." i got almost to the door when he said, "hold it. let it run." >> it's all fashion. it's a family story. and a lot -- it echoe a lot of things, i think, that people
have heard from their parents, whether they are jewish or irish or whatever they are -- depression stuff. the dysfunctional family. the alcoholic father. the aspect of religion. the power of religion. how it makes you feel guilty. and i think the style is straightforward. i learned -- i learned the style, i think, from teaching. >> charlie: that's what i want to ask you. where did you learn to write? >> i learned -- i learned -- i have a granddaughter -- she was about two when she visited me when i was beginning -- and i realized, i was watching her learn how she would take a word and put it away in her -- "chair," kiara,and that word was in her memory bank, and how when you talk to teenagers, when you're a teacher, you have to be clear and direct and simple because they have no patience, and for 27 years i had to be clear and direct.
>> it's not about a great career. it's the fact that i have been able to continue doing something that interests me and that keeps being interesting regardless of my particular infirmities. >> charlie: and what is it that makes it interesting for you? >> because i keep finding things about life and people that i didn't know about. >> charlie: like what? i mean -- in -- you mean -- like what? >> like through working with -- well, wking with dancers, as i have done all my life, of course but in a w to not only have a situation in which we can do our work but the way we work together -- that is, the music and the dance and the visual thing -- they are three separate identities which, at the moment of performance, come together, so it is in a sense a political thing -- that is, we travel
around and present this work allowing as much freedom as possible for everybody in it at the same time there is this discipline. >> charlie: what do you look for in dancers? >> well, they have to be strong. >> charlie: of course. >> to be able to stand on two feet, one leg. >> charlie: it helps. >> and move an arm at the same time. they have to have flexibility and to my way of thinking, they have to have a resilience not only in the body but in the mind. >> charlie: a resilience to -- >> to realize that things change. that you can -- and that you can change. you can change your mind. not be fixed in the way something need be or think it's only perfect one way. everything is perfect. all you have to do is change your mind. >> i think architecture as frank lloyd wright said, appropriately, is the mother art. it's holistic. it affects all our lives. both subconsciously and
consciously. it is about the environment. the manmade environment. and when you think about it, people who travel, who take long trips, actually go to places to see buildings. to experience architecture, so i believe its impact upon the conscious and the perceptual parameters of one's existence is total, so when we talk about why we want to be an architect, i think we're talking about not only wagoes on today in art but what will go on in the -- what goes on today in art but wagoes on in the future. >> charlie: in the early -- but what goes on in the future. in the early 1960's you worked on this house for your parents who had moved to the northeast on long island, in ammagansett,
give me a sense why and the creative force that was at work. >> very lucky to have parents who trusted their son, the young architect, and >> charlie: out of architecture school no more than two or three years at that point. >> jay: out of architectural school no more than two or three years. they wanted to build a house in amagansett, i had done a house in fire island before, a very small one, and the opportunity was unique in that to design it and then try to build it was a very -- was a very critical point in my life. i was working for another architect. i could have gotten involved in mayor lindsey's architect group at the timeand no contractor would build the house in east hampton. no one ever saw curved forms or raw cedarwood, and i told my
parents that i would like to build it, that i thought it was essential. >> i took my mother's battery radio, turned it into a p.a. system -- this is in the 1920's -- and i sang through a telephone. and the harmonica and the voice and the jokes and everything were fine, but the guitar, they couldn't hear. so the carhop said "if you could only get the guitar louder," so i lifted my dad's radio out of the garage and i hooked it up to the guitar, which i had bought, by the way, at sears and roebuck, 4.95, so i took a phone grav pickup, jabbed a needle in the -- so i took a phonograph pickup, jabbed a needle in the guitar, i was unhappy because of
the feedback and it started to holler -- if you got too loud with this acoustical instrument so i filled it with plaster of paris, rags, everything i could, and i thought there's got to be a better solution to this thing, and i worked it out until it was either a piece of railroad track and i said "i'm never going to see gene autry on a horse with a railroad track," so i said "that's out, steel is out" so i said "it's got to be wood," so i found the hardest piece of wood, and it was a four-by-four, and i made it, and here, lo and behold, was the answer to the problem, and i put some wings around the things, and we were ready to roll, and i go to the gibson people and says, "here is your guitar. here is tomorrow." and they called it the broomstick with the pickup on it. >> charlie: and then they began to have the les paul model and
the -- >> and then it happened. >> i have been following politics and writing about politics for over 50 years, even before i got to washington. it is an addiction. >> charlie: and reporting is an addiction for you. >> it is. it's fun to find something out that other people don't know. printing it. a lot of people say that this book -- they're amazed at how many facts in there i tell about myself and the things usually you don't put in -- journalists don't put in their memoirs and i say that was my style. >> charlie: what was the hardest thing to put in here? >> i think the most difficult thing was to put in the mistakes i have made -- >> charlie: what was the biggest one in your judgment? we couldo through all of them but what's the biggest one in your judgment? >> it may not sound like much but such an embarrassment when chuck colson got me to write a column about suing "time" magazine for reporting that he
was involved in the watergate burglary, and i was -- that was my weakness. it's been my weakness. i am so desirous of getting a scoop that sometimes i will grasp at something that a column shouldn't have been written. >> i believe very strongly it is your ear more than your eye that keeps you in the television set. >> charlie: i do too. people say people hear. explain it to me. >> i can live with a picture that's a little bit grainy and a little bit out of focus. because nobody's going to turn it off. i can't live with grainy sound or out-of-focus sound. the minute the sound or the words don't mesh or the inflexions aren't right, i don't care what's on -- or the inflections aren't right, before "60 minutes" the word in television was we're going to put word to pictures. we're going to put pictures to
words. that may be the secret of "60 minutes" which a lot of people have caught onto -- i believe that what you hear is more important than what you see. i have been in television 44 years and i never saw a picture that excited me as much as a well turned phrase. i may have learned that from irwin friendly. >> charlie: he didn't write at a typewriter. >> at a lectern. >> charlie: he would talk it through and somebody wrote it down? >> no, he wrote it. >> charlie: he would talk it so -- he wanted to hear what he had to say. >> i do that. listen. as far as the sound and what's said on "60 minutes," mike wallace and i have had the same conversation for 24 years. for 24 years, mike has done a narration at end of which he invariably said to me, "ok, kid, how was it?" and for 24 years i have said "i will give you an "a." you want to do it again and see
if you can get an a-plus? when i get in the control room, i know what bradley looks like, i know what lesley looks like. >> charlie: you want to hear the track. >> sometimes i listen and i whip my head up and i say "wait a minute, that inflection is wrong" or "that's wordy" or "there is a better word that we can use there" and i edit with my ears. i don't edit with my eye. ppl have to understand, investing in children is conservative. that isn't radical. that isn't liberal -- that makes a sense -- educating so that we're going to be able to compete. investing in people. for every dollar that we invest in the g.i. bill after world war ii, we got seven dollars back in terms of the treasury. is that liberal? is that conservative? is that radical? is that crazy? that's sound. th makes sense. american people have to understand that these kinds of investments make sense in terms
of our country, if they're indispsable, if we're going to be able to survive, indispensable in terms of our national security that we're going to be able to compete with these other countries so i think we have to be -- the democrats have to be willing to really -- you know, speak in -- in the candid way about these issues -- >> charlie: they say. >> that's absolutely right, and we have to do something about these -- this enormous disparity -- you know, the great -- if you look from 1947 to 1975 -- 1940 to 1975, all the quintiles broken out, everyone moved along together, and since we've had this republican revolution starting with ronaldreagan, continuing on nothere e great sparity is i teáms of@ w%alth. we're@ csttly gwing apart, fmrtr and further apart. it's e pluribus unum, one out of many and we're going "out of many, one" that's the wrong direction. >> charlie: do you believe we've turned the tide?
that people are saying there is too much disparity in america between the wealthy and the middle class? >> i think they -- they want -- they want -- american people want to know who is on their side. who is on their side in educating their kids. who is their side in health care. who is on their side in jobs. who is on their side in terms of the environment. that is the opportunity given the democrats. that's the opportunity given to them. you said "are@ they there yet?" that's the opportunity. we ought to be there and we ought to have them there and i believe we'll have a candidate, hopefully that will get us there. >> charlie: you're not going to tell me who that is. let me just close with this. trent lott has this thing on your wall in which he said, "now back in power," as in number two man in the senate in which he id, "if they only knew." what did he mean? >> well, it's that there are people here -- trent lott,
number of very fine republicans, colleagues as well that really want to make the institution work and find ways to try to work together -- i've tried that in the united states senate, i'm trying it now, i'm very fortunate to have a good colleague, senator incee is our chairman, we're hoping to get things done -- we'll be down just below the surface but we'll be getting things done and i think that's the way it will be. we'll be up at the top, too, to sound off, but in the meantime, hopefully, we'll get some things done. >> i'm still always fascinated by the rich and the powerful in the criminal situation because it's always different for them than it is for an ordinary person and there is that kind of a story in this based on a real story. >> charlie: that is fascinating for you, the notion of the rich and powerful getting their
comeuppance especially when they've committed in horrible crime. you did say this, which is interesting. you were a little embarrassed about how you were back then. do you still share that? you're embarrassed? or you say, "look, that was me then. i understand it. maybe i'm a little bit embarrassed but life is a journey and you" -- >> life is a journey. >> charlie: and you end up somewhere and thank god you have the experiences you do because they all contribute to who you are. >> absolutely. >> charlie: who you become. >> i would be embarrassed if i were still like that. >> charlie: yeah. >> but i'm not embarrassed now. >> charlie: but you went through that. >> i'm thrilled. >> charlieyou don't look back because of this and because it shaped your ability and your capacity to observe those people. >> that's right. >> charlie: yeah. >> i like writing best, and then if it has to go somewhere, i like it being in the theater. >> charlie: right. because? >> because the writer --
>> charlie: is king? >> is king or queen, and it's very containing. you work with fewer people. you're not gettingotes from executives who weren't born before you started that piece and you get to work more directly with the audience. >> charlie: you just don't respect executives enough. these people have been around -- >> for days. some of them for days. i say that i once had a meeting with a fetus in a three-piece suit. >> charlie: a fetus?" yes. >> charlie: hadn't even come out. >> unfortunately, he did. >> charlie: in a tuxedo or just a navy suit? >> only at award time. >> charlie: writing -- you wonder why for the theater is the easiest to write for? >> when you're writing something that you really have a feeling for -- i don't know if easy is the word but it's the most enjoyable working on that no matter where it's going. >> charlie: what do you do best
in terms of writing? an eye and ear for dialogue, for narrative, for a phrase? >> i think what i do best in writing is rewriting. i think once i get something that works or seems to work -- >> charlie: fine-tuning? >> fine-tuning, polishing, honing. perhaps rethinking scenes. that's the most enjoyable part of the process. >> when i was in the army, europe, world war ii, i remember sitting and smoking, one day -- things were very quiet and i said to myself, "if i ever get out of this war alive, i'm going to be a writer. of some kind." i didn't know what kind. but i had spent two years working in a factory before going into the service, and i didn't really like it. and i said, "i'm going to be a writer no matter what."
it turned out to be easier than i thought -- that through sheer good luck but once i was editing the writing, one thing led to another with an almost -- how shall i put it -- divine relationship -- smooth. i was only unemployed once for three months. >> charlie: when was that? >> after i left the reporter. >> charlie: yes. >> in 1960, i spent some three months trying to figure out what to do and then i went into book publishing. >> charlie: who have been your political heroes? >> political heroes -- well, no. as a young man, my political hero was franklin d. roosevelt -- obviously -- after that, i didn't have very many political -- >> charlie: yeah. >> heroes. i did admire john f. kennedy. i was beginning to get a bit disillusioned with him by the time he was assassinated but still, i had great hopes for him. aside from that, i don't think
there have been any political heroes that i knew, though winston churchill, of course, is an inspiring hero. >> charlie: what about ronald reagan? >> ronald reagan was a man for whom i have enormous respect. he was not a brilliant man, but he was a very shrewd man with a sense of command, and he did a good job for eight years. he's one of the few presidents who actually left office after two terms as popular as when he went into it. and that's a testimony of some kind. but you a hero, no. >> charlie: stu alsop was my idea of a great columnist back in the 1960's and 1970's. >> charlie: wrote it with his brother, joe. >> right. i went to him -- he was kind of my rabbi in this thing going into the pundit -- and he said, "you know, you're well connected in washington.
you have been working around." throw in a little piece of information into a column that nobody else has and don't put it in the lead. that's what reporters do. slip it in the bottom sowhere. throw it away. it will get noticed. then people will have to read the column. it took me a while to get that idea across. but now what i try to writes opinionated reporting or informed commentary where i don't just suck my thumb and stare at the wall and come up with something but -- and don't compete with the times reporters for stories. if i see a story, i'll turn it over to them. buat the same time, you can pick up a piece of information at a dinner party or pick up the phone and get something that brings a column to life. >> first customer, if you can use that word, i had was goering, and he was infamous for
intimidating and interrupting the interpreters and sure enough, he interrupted me, and colonel eamon, who was the chief prosecutor of crime incorporated here in brooklyn said to me, "don't let this turkey interrupt you." so he put me on the spot, and he made me discipline goering, and having grown up in germany, i remembered an old joke and i said to him, "herr goering," mispronouncing his name. the name in german means "little nothing, a trifle." >> charlie: you mispronounced his name on purpose. >> on purpose. i said, "when i speak, you don't interrupt me. you wait until i'm finished. then when you have to say something, i will listen to you and decide whether it's necessary to translate it." and he said to me, "my name is not goering, my name is not goering, my name is goering" and i said to him, "i'll tel you
what. i'll make a deal with you. if you won't interrupt me again, i won't call you go-rink again" and after that we became great friends. >> charlie: great friends? >> he insisted to speak only through me and i finally figured out why. he saw himself, certainly, as a future chief defendant in these trials. he knew that colonel eamon was the chief interrogator and he knew i was the chief interpreter and that put it all in good german order. >> what's exciting is you see people at their point of crisis, and it really does matter, especially in large deals, it matters to their lives. it impacts a lot of people. it's inherently interesting. any development in the papers we said is reflected in the process so that there is a stimulation, an exhilaration from all that
but it's also watching history go by. and if you can help in some way, that's very satisfying. if you don't have that sort of satisfaction, the business is a bad business to be in because it's gruelling. there is a lot of rejection. it has ups and downs. it's cyclical. there are a lot of bad aspects of the business. >> charlie: and the stakes can be high. >> you can lose. you know. sometimes, things don't work out. >> charlie: i would ask a -- if you are a pro basketball player i would ask "what is your best game?" being a financier, what is your best deal? >> i think in general, actually, i don't think of it that way. i think that as i go back in time, i would say the advice we gave over a long period of years has a pretty high batting
average. >> charlie: so it's day in, day out. >> day in, day out. where you realize you get -- along with business, you begin to understand where companies and where you make mistakes, and that's a good process, and so you get to a point where you think what you can do is balance those considerations and develop a style, because what we try to do is to say to companies, "look, here is our analysis of the isss. here are the options. here are the pros and cons, the options." investment bankers don't make the decisions, shouldn't make the decisions. boards, companies, shareholders should do, but it's very important that people anticipate the different directions things can go and their consequences. that's why our clients tend to be reasonably successful in these transactions, because if
you do a little homework in advance and do a little bit of thinking, you can reasonably anticipate the sequence in which things will go and the types of decisions people will have to make to have a longer time to think about it and to pace themselves, and that's -- that's very important. >> i think i still would be a painter if photography wasn't there, because i really have this -- this desire to deal with images. the flat surface, things like that. but photography was so -- it was just what i needed, you know, it was like i wanted to go out into the world, but the world was a very strange, complicated thing but i wanted to be a part of it and painting secluded me -- excluded me from the world. painting is a -- >> charlie: you're less witness to history, you're more -- give
evidence to your own creativity. >> no, not just that. it's a solitary thing, but going outside and meeting the challenge of taking what is and making it yours, that's what photography does for me. you see, it's not the subject that interests me as much as my perception of the subject. that's what makes it so wonderful. there are so many things to do. so many things to see. and you can be part of it and yet be distant from it. it's a kind of a strange thing. you're involved in it, you feel it, but yet you have this sense of detachment, and it's quite an experience that i just love the process. >> i was just in china two weeks ago, where i spent 2 1/2 weeks there and i traveled throughout the place, and i saw the changes that had taken place, and many
of them are positi. people are going out of poverty. there is a great press going around. people are listening to cnn much more. people are getting involved. people are going into the ocean. the whole thing is slowly changing and they're coming over here right today to send their national people's congress over to the united states to talk to us directly and frankly about the rule of law in china. i'm not saying it's going to happen tomorrow, but i'm saying there is something on the horizon that looks positive and we should pursue it as much as we can. it seems to me the chinese have tiananmen in their background. we should not let anybody forget it. they are certainly not going to forget it -- we don't have that much of a role to play, actually. what we have to look forward is for those signs to come out, that tiananmen has not and will not happen again, i hope.
>> i chose 127. i walked through my life triple-time in my mind and wrote down on a pad what had totally wiped meut physically when i saw thim in the flesh, right? when i started, art historian work in 1953 until today, it came to 127. i cut it to 111 because everything is one plus i couldn't afford the difference in the color separation, so 1 lefrn but it's a good list and it would be your list -- 50% of what i chose would be your absolute list. >> charlie: what why do you say this? >> these things, because of the geniuses who made it, have embedded in them such a power, such therapeutic forces, these are curing things. these help you get through the life, right? >> charlie: that's what they've done for you? >> yeah, se. i have to see them. i've got to go back and pay visits to these things. if i don't go and see saint teresa in rome, it hasn't been rome. i like to see -- >> charlie: you can't go to rome without being there? >> no. i've got to see that. >> charlie: how often do you go
to the metropolitan museum of art? your former place -- >> not a heck of a lot. i go when there is a show i haven't seen anything of. >> charlie: how many of these are there? >> quite a few. >> charlie: why don't you go back and see them. >> i do. i go to the cloifters and see that but it's more fun to go to -- i go to the cloisters and see that but it's more fun to go to europe, to go to vienna. >> charlie: you believe there is a consensus about what would be the 100 best pieces of art -- >> 50% of my list and 50% only the high professionals would have ever heard of it -- you've got to spend your life -- they paid me a very good salary and expenses and big-time expenses to do nothing but appreciate -- to go and look at great art and i would have dinner in madrid starting at 11:00, end at 1:30 in the morning and i would say, "hey, can i stop in for a couple of hours?" he would say, "fine," it was the director of the prado and i would be in the prado alone for an hour and a half in the middle of the night.
>> needless to say, any society is a complicated society, and you could find also these type of -- but from my point of view what is not very well understood here is that these sorts of feelings are not the most important. that is not the things about ordinary russian really cares. russian cares about being protected. about having -- about not being blown up in his own home. not feeling in danger of this. he is not very much thinking about nation pride. >> charlie: it enhances mr. putin's prestige and esteem is support? >> yes. in a degree. but also from my point of view it's not very well understood here is that the essence of
putin's support is not cherch noble, the essence of -- the putin's support is not -- chernobyl, the essence of putin's support -- russian public very much needed somebody who pursued it, that would deliver chewing gum, somebody who will be prepared to make tough solutions, to implement them, to be responsible for them, et cetera. >> by inclination i am an activist and i'm very interested in politics but i love what i'm doing. >> charlie: public policy, you said, is more fascinating for you. as much satisfaction as acting, it is a passionate interest in issues that concern all of us. >> the answer two sides to my nature that i can identify readily -- the acting side, i get to -- if i'm lucky enough
and i have been lucky enough with plays like rodgers or david mamet or david ray and some films i have been in i get to express some transcendant truths in imaginary ways and contrived circumstances because actors and artists in general can speak to people in ways that politicians and journalists and other people cannot but in some very real ways where it impacts on real-life situations in different ways, sometimes the artistic world seems a little too aloof for me and i like a hands on-experience with real people and real circumstances and situations. >> this is a huge challenge exodus. the people leaving are the people who have to be in iraq to build it, doctors, lawyers, professionals of all sorts and they're the middle class so this is going to attack iraq a long time to recover from but let me just say that this story, very moving, could be said about hundreds of thousands of people. they all have slightly different
stories but it's the same flight from terror. to find safety in another country. some peoe came with resources but if they did, maybe a year or two ago, those resources could well be used up by now so they're living with friends, with family, they're living on the economy, they can't work, this isn't a classic refugee crisis where people are going into camps -- it's not like darfur. these are urban refugees primarily being absorbed in damascus and amman. most of the people that my colleagues at refugees international talked to last fall when they were in syria and jordan say they don't want to stay there. they want to go to europe. they want to go to the u.s. they want to go to australia. so this is not going to be a localized problem. people want to get out of the region. theyant to get to a place where they have a future. they don't see a future back in iraq. they don't see their future in syria. they see their future elsewhere.